frellnik: (Default)
Yesterday I learned to always have fun songs on hand to sing as back up in the Izumi class. The Izumi clas has about 12 students from gr.1 through 6. They are students with special needs.
Yesterday I taught the grade 5s and the Izumi class. We focussed on Food.  So for the Izumi class I mostly focussed on vocabulary since Grammar is a bit beyond the younger kids.

I started the class with a song (The pizza hut song) and we sang it 4 times and then tried it getting faster and until it was too fast.
After singing we did vocab. I had 13 cards and I got the kids to repeat the words after me and then I asked them to tell me what each one is in Japanese and then to tell me in English again.  Then we played the key-word game.  I choose a key-word, a word we've practiced today, and they kids repeated after me and when I said the key word they kids had to be the first to grab the eraser off the desk.    We played about 6 rounds but the youngest kids weren't winning much and they were getting frustrated so I figured it was time to do something else.

So I sang another song with them - a clapping song.  The title is "it's not hard I tell you so".  We started out really slow and went through each clapping pattern a few times to make sure the kids got it.  Then we sang the song about 4 times and each time was a little faster than the last.

At the end of class we went over the new vocab words again one last time.  It was different from my normal classes. I think these kids are going to learn a lot of songs!  Does anyone have any tips for teaching kids with disabilites? Most of my lessons are foccused mostly on vocab with games and songs.  It's also difficult because the kids are all different ages and grades.

My other classes yesterday went great as well.  I had to move one of my clsses up because I had to leave school at noon to go to Taira for meetings at the BOE.  My last class was scheduled to finish at 12:25 and I had to catch the 12:50 train which would have been cutting it really close.  

I caught the 12:50 train to Taira and ended up in the sam car as the JETs from Ueda.  We were told at the meeting that all the Junior High ALTs will be able to come back next year but that 7 elementary school ALTs will be cut due to budget cuts.  School visits by the BOE will start next week.  They will be looking to see how our classes go and how well we are liked at the schools. From that they are going to try and figure out which ALTs to ask back next year.  So I'll do my best and hope that I get picked to stay next year.

After the BOE meeting a bunch of us went to Candi's place for a potluck dinner party.  There were about 14 of us in total throughout the evening.  It was a lot of fun. We went to the grand opening of a new pet shop that opened up right next to Candi's apartment building.  I got to hold a baby short haired rabbit. It was so cute! It fit in the palm of my hand.  Then Candi asked me if I could interpret for her and help her buy a baby bird.  (I forget which kind...but it can learn to talk, it's white with yellow feathers..and this one is an albino so it has red eyes.)

So I spent about 30 minutes asking questions for her and relating the info back to her and she picked her baby up from the shop sometime today. IT's adorable.  It's only a month old which is too young to know what sex it is.. I got to hold it and use my fingers as a ladder and it alked around on my sholders.  The bird is so young that it has to be fed with a syringe .  Add warm water to the bird seed to make a paste and use the syringe to feed it to the bird.  It also has a little nest with a "lid" that he has to stay in unless Candi is playing with it or feeding it.    She has to feed it 3 times a day four hours apart and since she has to work all day, she has to feed it at night and have it sleep all day.  So she has to geed it at 5pm, 9pm and 1am, for the next two weeks. Then she can get a cage for it and start feeding it regular food.  And she's going to teach it to talk.

I feel very accomplished as I was able to help with all the info she needed to take care of the bird. It was awesome!

I hung out at Candi's place with everyone until about 8:20 when I headed out for the 25 minute walk to the train station. I caught the 8:50 train home to Izumi. Then I watched Armageddon in Japanese (it was on tv) and I cried again.  

Today I spent the morning chatting with friends in Ottawa (ended up spending almost 2 and a half hours on the phone with Matt) and to [livejournal.com profile] ninja007 and then I went shopping. Found some plastic drawers to keep all my papers in.  On the way home I stopped to play jump rope with some of the kids from school. Their mom came to join us and we talked for a bit.  She had a bag of mini tomatos that she had just picked from her garden.  I ended up taking them home with me. lol  They look really good.

I spent the evening sorting all the papers I had accumulated and put quite a bit into one of the drawers...tomorrow I'm going to clean the floors, and maybe the shower...then I'm going to do the rest of my laundry.  But first, I'll be calling my mom and Kirstin.  Can't wait to say hi to people I miss!

I'm enjoying my 3 day weekend! 

frellnik: (Default)
Hey All,

Thursday and Friday I thaught Gr. 4s. The two schools are at different lessons for the same grade. On Thurssday I was at Izumi North and today I was at Izumi. I liked the classes at Izumi better. Thursdays classes were half good and half bad. 2 classes went really well and the others didn't go so well. I had one class where no one asked me any questions at all after my self-intro and then when I taught the review and started the new lesson the kids just sat there. It was like pulling teeth to get them to participate. Some of the classes ask tons of questions and we run out of time in the class. 

Friday I taught 4 classes back to back. In the first class I did a short self intro and then did a review of the different body parts but focussed on the head. Then we reviewed big and small. After that we played a kind of pictionary game.  The students sit in 6 rows in the classroom so each row was a team.  The kids went up the board and each drew a circle for a face. Then I would call out something like....3 small eyes, and the kids would draw it in the face...after much deliberation of where to put the third eye lol.  I had them draw 1 big mouth, 1 big ear, 2 small noses, 7 big hair, and one small ear.  Some of the kids didn't seem to grasp the big and small concept in relation to parts of the body even though they did ok when I quizzed them about big and small animals. lol  In the end I picked the face that was the best, the closest to what I had asked them to actually draw. There was only one face that was perfect. lol

None of the other classes got to play the game that day, we ended up spending the entire class focussing on my self intro...lots of questions in the other classes and the teachers didn't mind that we didn't get any of the lessons done.

Fridays at Izumi have their own schedule. The kids are done classes by 12:30 and they are done school by 1:30. The rest of the week seems to end at 3:30...although I think the 1st graders leave earlier than that. It seems that every school has its own schedule.  At Izumi North each grade has a different schedule. All classes start at 8:20 but the grade 1s leave at 1:30 on Wednesdays and 2:30 every other day. The grade 2s leave at 2:30 every day, the grade 3s leave at 2:30 most days but on Tues, and Thurs they leave at 3:30, and grades 4-6 leave at 2:30 on Mondays and Fridays and 3:30 the rest of the week.  I think on days that they leave early there are club activities that they can take part in instead of going home.  It isn't unusual for kids to still be hanging around the school at 4pm when I head home for the day.  It's weird.

Yesterday I had lunch with the teachers. We had ramen noodles in a really good soup full of vegetables, and two octopus balls and milk. I was really full when I finished eating. So the lunch that I had brought with me ended up being my dinner instead.  

I taught the kids TGIF. 2 of the classes got it and the other 2 didn't get it at all. lol We'll see if they remember it next week.

One of my favourite shirts stretched. the little ring in the middle that used to be up at my chest is now down around my navel...it still looks ok I guess...it's just not what I remember it looking like. I don't like it as much this way so I'm a little sad about it. :(  The good thing is that no one here knows what it looked like before so as long as it doesn't get any worse it should be fine.

The sun is setting earlier now...it's 6:15pm and the sun is pretty much down now. And it's now a little after 5 before it comes up in the morning now too. That's good for me! I can sleep a little longer before being woken up.  Now if only it would cool down a bit. It's going to be 35C all week. We don't use humidex factor here but I know we are at about 85%humidity...so it feels a lot warmer than 35C. It's September! It shouldn't be this hot! THe schools have no AC...it's hot.

Today I spent all morning chatting on msn. I downloaded Skype and got a long distance plan that gives me umlimmited calls to Canada for 690 yen a month...that's about $8CAD. But it's under 7 bucks for me with my pay check...so I'm happy. I can call home whenever I want and I can call my friends and chat.  I called home today and talked to Eric for a bit.  Just as we were about to hang up, mom came home, so I talked to mom for a few minutes. Going to call home again tomorrow morning (tonight for mom).

I went to Taira today and I bought a broom. Didn't find a swiffer though so I'll have to look some more for one.  I got a broom and a dust pan, and a little drying rack for my dishes, and I got an ice tray and box.   I got a notebook to practice writing kanji and a package of loose leaf for writing notes and stuff. I also got some detergent and mini packets of tissue/kleenex. It turned out that most public washrooms (at train stations or in a park, ect.) don't have toilet paper in them. You have to have your own.  So everyone carries around those little mini packs of kleenex. So I bought a bag of 6 packets for 138 yen.  Then I bought groceries....Taira is more expensive than Izumi...but there is a lot more selection for somethings...so I think I'll be splitting my shopping up between the two stores.

So now I need to get an account with Go Lloyds so I can start sending money home.  Then I'm all set...or I will be as soon as I find a swiffer!

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